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One Child

Average Rating 5
( 89 )
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4 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 5
  • Posted January 19, 2011

    Emotional, touching book..captures your attention from the start Amazing

    I hardly read books unless, its based on a true story,I dont if this book is but it really sounds as if it is. i love this book n the story it held inside it captured my mind since day one. i actually felt touched...i even cried i dont think i have ever read a book so touching as this one...i as a young reader think that not everyone would be capable of highly understanding this book unless you are mature enough...other than that its an amazing storyy!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2000

    tory l hayden is my idol

    this book along with all the others was increadible.. there was a movie i saw when i was younger based on this book if anyone knows what it was called please email me. Torey's books are increadible they truley inspire me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2014

    The first thing I want to tell you is how much this book made me

    The first thing I want to tell you is how much this book made me cry. Buckets full. Maybe even enough to fill an ocean. Ugly cry, even. Unashamed, let-it-all-out, bawling. That’s how much. I’m not even exaggerating. This is significant, because tearjerker movies get me to cry often, but in contrast, only a handful of books have managed to dissolve me into tears. With One Child, I cried often, and I cried long and hard. It’s not only Sheila’s circumstances that made me cry, but also because I was so grateful that there is a teacher who cared enough to save this little girl whom everyone had given up on. 

    Let me share a little about Sheila. She is a six-year-old girl who committed a terrible crime. It wasn’t her first crime, but it was probably her worst. At the age of six she had already had run ins with the police three times, and after her last crime the courts had decided that she should be placed in a state institution for mentally disturbed patients. Unfortunately for the state, but fortunately for Sheila, there wasn’t space available to accommodate her in the local state institution, and she was placed in a classroom for handicapped, abused, and mentally disturbed children. The teacher for that classroom at the time was Miss Torey (the author of this book). According to state regulations, Torey could only accommodate eight children in her classroom due to the severity of their conditions. Yet, she had no choice but to accept problem-child Sheila into her classroom.

    When I say Sheila is a problem-child, I don’t mean it lightly. The things she does is incredibly shocking, but here I also want to mention that she is no ordinary child. She has an IQ of over 170. Obviously, until Sheila has landed in Torey’s classroom, no-one has figured it out yet because Sheila is such a difficult child who goes out of her way to make herself unlovable. She lives in poverty with her alcoholic, ex-convict father, in a one-room shack in a migrant camp. You might wonder where Sheila’s mother is, and I can only tell you that that is another heartbreaking part of Sheila’s life. No acceptable excuse can be made for what Sheila’s mother did to her. It’s just too appalling.  

    Anyway, the entire story centers around Miss Torey and Sheila forming an unbreakable bond and how they changed each others’ lives, and also how it changed Sheila. This little girl who never cries and who only knows rejection, abuse, and abandonment, has to learn to love, be accepted, deal with her anger, and adjust to normal society - what is socially acceptable, and what is not. Often I found myself smiling about how Sheila perceives the world and her surroundings, and how she tries to make sense of her life. The other kids in the same classroom also crept into my heart. So many times did I go “aaawwwhhh” because of something or other that Sheila, Torey or any of the other kids did or say, and then the tears would start all over again.

    I’ve read many abuse stories, whether it’s written in books or news articles, but never have I been as shocked as when I read what Sheila’s uncle did to her. You think you’ve heard it all with regard to the extent of human depravity, and then you read something like that... 

    The story has a good ending, but not, in my opinion, a satisfying one. I desperately wanted a different ending for Sheila at home. I didn’t agree with the welfare system’s opinion of Sheila’s home life. I appreciated every single effort Torey made to improve Sheila’s life and I am grateful that there are teachers who really care about their students. One Child is a book worth reading, albeit not an easy one because it plays havoc with your emotions. Whether this really happened or not, it is a reminder that the world is filled with people who have no limits to the cruelties they bestow on defenseless little children (and animals, for that matter). At the same time it also showcases that, once in a while, a gem such as Torey comes along who dedicates her time and all of herself to protecting, loving, and making a difference in the lives of little ones who can’t fend for themselves. 

    As much as I want to recommend this book to everyone, I also have to issue a warning that it contains content of a disturbing nature. Sheila’s story needed to be told and I’m grateful to Ms Hayden for sharing it with us. However, read it at own risk (such as crying buckets of tears and having your heart break into tiny little pieces over and over again).    

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  • Posted November 6, 2012

    This is a very good book, I would defiantly recommend you read i

    This is a very good book, I would defiantly recommend you read it. It’s a true story about a little girl named Shelia. Shelia is a six year old at the time when her teacher Torey writes about how she tries to turn her life around. Shelia gets into quite a bit of trouble throughout the whole story. It isn’t always easy for her to adjust to her new school because she gets put into a class for mentally disturbed children, while they wait for a spot in the mental hospital to open. If you like true stories about children you will greatly enjoy reading it you will find out really how horrible this little girl’s life really was. Honestly, I laughed, cried, and was shocked through the whole story. If you enjoy this book after you read it, I know you will want to read more. So you should read the second book about Shelia called, The Tiger's Child.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    Highly Recommended; I never stopped reading

    The book one child is about a disturbed child who moves into a new school. Torey Hayden is the author and also the teacher in the book, this story is based on her life as a teacher and one special student she once had. This is a book about trust and friendship and the patience she had to do whatever it took to reach out to one child. As I was reading the book I could never put it down, page after page is detailed information about her daily life. Everyday something horrifying comes along.
    As you read the book you learn that the terrifying young girl, Sheila, is really brilliant and she just needed a chance from someone to take the time to get to know her. She is abused and faces terrible experiences and she is only a young child. Torey learns more and more about this troubled girl. She also proves to all the other teachers that it takes patience and kindness to reach out to anybody, no child is unteachable. Torey made the biggest impact on Sheila, and Sheila probably wouldn’t be where she is today without her.
    This book is about love and connection that no one can destroy. Torey and Sheila grow a relationship that nobody has ever had with the child. This book really captivates what a teacher means to this world.

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  • Posted May 30, 2012

    Highly Recommended - must read

    One Child is an outstanding book about a violent child and her patient teacher who reaches out to her, something no one in her life has ever done. Torey Hayden was a teacher who taught disturbed children. When she read the newspaper about a little girl who burnt a boy in a fire, she knew that the girl would soon be in her class. The day Sheila came she didn’t talk to anyone, and ripped all the worksheets Torey gave her. Throughout the book, Sheila becomes closer to Torey and Torey finds out more about Sheila and the terrible experiences she has faced. Yet soon, Torey realizes that she has been facing an experience of a lifetime by teaching Sheila. Torey Hayden is the only person in Sheila’s life that gave her a chance and an opportunity. She proved to everyone that nobody is unteachable; you just need to reach out to them.

    I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading inspirational novels. It is based on a true story and Torey Hayden is an incredible teacher who deserves more respect than anyone else. This book is for any age, it really captivates what a teacher really means to this world.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    This book was one of the most riveting and heart-breaking books I have ever read. It made me want to scream, dance in excitement, but mostly cry. I suggest that everyone who has a chance to read it, to do so. It may seem like just another bitter-sweet story, but it changes the way you look at life.

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  • Posted January 11, 2010

    amazing

    i chose this book for my senior seminar class and i am glad i did so.
    i wanted to read a non-fiction book i could sort of relate to, now i had abuse and such in my home when i was growing up but no nearly as much as Sheila. this book is such an amazing read. the illustrations are just put in your head with no pictures in the book. how the author Torey Hayden just put her lifes work into a book for everyone to see how having someone work with you and be you friend can help you get through a lot. Sheila and Torey get through a lot in the class that Torey teaches to severly retarted kids. i recommend this book to everyone how loves a happy ending and for some knowlegde..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2009

    Great

    This book was amazing. I read it in just a few hours- couldn't put it down! I never was interested in teaching special education until I read this book. It is graphic but it is real life and if you have any interest in emotionally disturbed and special needs kids this book is great!

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  • Posted June 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One Child

    Torey Hayden's book One Child is a book about a small child who comes from an abusive family. This book teaches one to learn and trust and also the importance of friendship. If you enjoyed the depressing and horrifying true storey of A Child Called It, then you will love this book. Also if you are a teacher, do not pass up the opportunity to read One Child. Hayden does a fantastic job of portraying the topic; this book goes in great detail, giving you the impression that you are there page after page.
    Sheila, the abused girl, refuses to talk or do any assignment that requires writing. However underneath her shell you find out how brilliant she truly is. Sheila's intelligent mind often gets her in trouble and you may just find yourself laughing at her innocents. Because she was abandoned by her mother she is terrified of being left alone, and just as things start to look better, Hayden throws the book through a loop and the situation worsens.
    One Child brings you roller coaster of teaching, and the irritation of the social services. Hayden knows that Sheila is being abused and tries to get the social services to remove her from the abusive environment, during that process Sheila is paying for it at home. When the social service people investigate the situation you will be horrified at what they do.
    This book is unpredictable, and heart wrenching. This book will make you laugh and cry. You won't be able to put it down, it's so gripping I'm sure you'll be reading it page after page. Abuse happens every day, and it's time we start doing something about it.
    The author, Torey Hayden, writes many nonfiction books based on her own experiences. She is a psychologist, and also was a special educational instructor. Her real life experiences have given her the ability to write extremely successful books.

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  • Posted May 5, 2009

    A TRUE Story Of Survival

    I just finished the book last night and can't wait to read the continuation of this story (very happy to hear that there is one). This story is a "page turner", I could not put it down! It's truly a story about how great life really is, how resilent childern are, and the power of love that conquers even the toughest, hardest shell. Hayden is an awesome story teller, bringing you inside her world isn't hard. She grabs you until the very end! Absolutly LOVED IT! And to Sheila: WOW, you ARE an AMAZING PERSON!

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  • Posted January 11, 2009

    A Fantastic Read! Loved it!

    I found this book an interesting read. It was about a little girl named Sheila who goes to a special school for bad children; but deep down inside she isn't a bad girl. My favorite chapter is chapter 7 where we are introduced to a teacher who cares for her students and helps Sheila out when she wets her pants. The Teacher gives her a bath and some hair clips as a gift, and Sheila tells her that no one has ever been so nice to her before. I think pre-teens about eleven and up would really enjoy and find this book a great read, as it shows an example of the struggle in life of abused children from an educator's point of view. I enjoyed this story as it is a true story and it can and has happened to any and many children of our world. I found the cruelty a bit hard to bare as I didn't like how Sheila was treated and that it could happen to anyone. I really recommend this book to anyone who likes real life stories told by some of the people involved in them.

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  • Posted November 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    My second book by Torey Hayden, but definitely not my last.<BR/><BR/>ONE CHILD is the story of Sheila, a young girl who was abandoned on the side of a highway by her mother. Now the charge of her drunken father, Sheila is wild, sometimes crazy, and never cries.<BR/><BR/>What follows after her arrival in Ms. Hayden's classroom (following an incident that is truly chilling) is the relationship that grows, in a short period of time, between Sheila and Torey.<BR/><BR/>A very good but emotional read. I highly recommend it, and also recommend picking up a copy of THE TIGER'S CHILD, which is the continuation of Sheila's story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2008

    listen up.

    I'm a big reading fan,i basically only buy true crime books.Searching through here to see if i could find a book. From some reason i stumbled upon this book,so after reading some of the reviews,i decided to buy it. At first i thought i made a mistake it seemed to start at a slow pace {for myself}but i always finish what i start. So i continued to read it. To my own amazement i could not put it down.I wanted to know what happened to sheila. The book is very emotional. Be prepared to shed some tears while reading this.I've already ordered the sequel to it 'the tigers child' i would recommend this book to people who are going to work with children with special needs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2008

    To Anyone who has a heart & compassion

    I read One Child & Tiger's Child within 2 weeks and this an outstnding book. It wants you to keep turning the pages. I had a very hard time putting it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2008

    MUST READ THIS BOOK!

    Torey Haden's life is a lot more complicated than most. She is a teacher of severely mental handicaps and emotionally disordered kids. Each of which, need special time, patience, and love. The class is doing fine, actually, better than ever. Then in walks little Sheila, and all that work is flushed down the drain. Sheila was abandoned on a highway at age four, and survived horrific abuse. She never spoke, never cried, and was never before loved, so she doesn't know how to love back. This little child was put in this class for committing a horrible act of violence against a small three-year-old boy. Everyone who saw her thought all hope was lost for this one child, except Torey Haden. With all her heart, she battles the problems that were brought down on this little child, and unlocks the secret intelligence behind Sheila's silence. 'One Child' by Torey Haden, is one of my favorite books. It is emotional, tragic, powerful, and literally touched my heart. This book is mainly based on Torey Haden and her devotion to helping kids with very difficult problems. This book is great for kids older than eleven years that love compassion, romance, and deeply emotional books. What I love most about this book is the description of how much effort and problems can come, while trying to mend this broken little child. It is a very sad book, but was so good, it left me speechless and overwhelmed with feelings in the end. If only we had more people like Torey Haden.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2007

    One Child

    I truly hat to read but this incredible book took me on an amazing journey. I felt I was the one trying to help this one child. Read it straight through. It is a wonderful story that helps put faith back into humankind. I know it¿s a daunting task but I wish we had more teachers like Torey instructing the future of our world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2007

    One Child

    I truly hate to read but this incredible book took me on an amazing journey. I felt I was the one trying to help this one child. Read it straight through. It is a wonderful story that helps put faith back into humankind. I know it¿s a daunting task but I wish we had more teachers like Torey instructing the future of our world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2007

    A reviewer

    Ever read a book that kept you reading all night, filled with nothing all night, filled with nothing but powerful words of love and reality page after page? One child is an inspiring nonfiction book that evokes emotions and puts tears in your eyes just from reading. Torey Hayden is the remarkable author of this novel and I admire her for her great work and her way of expressing how people cannot overcome their external poison until their own pain is acknowledge form every point. Sheila is a six-year-old child that has been through so much from the beginning to the very end of this novel, from being rejected by her own mother to being loved again. She has been traumatized throughout her life that she is able to stay strong enough to survive the anger and torment. Sheila had been taken into custody of the child protective services but remained living with her abusive, alcoholic father who neglects her and is incapable of caring for her. In the meantime, Sheila is placed in a class for students with special education needs, until further notice of space for her in a psychiatric hospital. During her placement in the class Torey, her teacher, is the only person that reaches out to her and realizes that although Sheila is emotionally unstable, she is incredibly gifted. As Sheila opens up she begins to trust Torey more, which allows a whole new beginning for Sheila filled with much joy and sense of love and care. Sheila is an innocent, wild and violent little girl with soft features, and we get to know a lot about her character and how she interacts with her classmates and her teachers by the author¿s use of dialog and actions. Sheila comes from a poor family, which explains her outfit choice of overalls and white shirt, the only clothes she has and wears everyday. Sheila seems very innocent, nut she is the quiet type that has been tortured through so much emotional pain that seems to express it through her anger. Torey¿s character is a type that you can relate to because she I easily understood and expresses her true, honest feelings toward the reader. Overall, the characters are very well developed through the use of dialog and actions throughout the book. The author uses first point of view and it is significant because you get to know exactly how the character feels after each situation and the reader gets a better understanding of the characters¿ actions. The point of view had a lot of importance throughout the entire book because it was based on a long flashback and the author uses this technique for re-telling the story exactly as it happened. I give this book a two thumbs up! I would recommend it to anybody who likes a good read. Page after page was filled with intense situations that kept me in suspense and kept me interested, wanting to read more and more. I liked how there were no wasted pages of useless information or stalling away from the conflict, it got right to the point. I found it really beautiful how a stranger, like Torey, could just take a little violent child and tame her enough to form a special bond with her and to come to realize how much she loved this child. She made a difference in her life. This book is something that touched my heart. I loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2007

    One Child

    Ever read a book that kept you reading all night, filled with nothing but powerful words of love and reality page after page? One Child is an inspiring nonfiction book that evokes emotions and puts tears in your eyes just from reading. Torey Hayden is the remarkable author of this novel and I admire her for her great work and her way of expressing how people cannot overcome their external poison until their own pain is acknowledged from every point. Sheila is a six-year-old child that has been through so much from the beginning to the very end of this novel, from being rejected by her own mother to being loved again. She has been traumatized throughout her life that she is able to stay strong enough to survive the anger and torment. Sheila had been taken into custody of child protective services but remained living with her abusive, alcoholic father who neglects her and is incapable of caring for her. In the meantime, Sheila is placed in a class for students with special education needs, until further notice of space for her in a psychiatric hospital. During her placement in the class, Torey, her teacher, is the only person that reaches out to her and realizes that although Sheila is emotionally unstable, she is incredibly gifted. As Sheila opens up she begins to trust Torey more, which allows a whole new beginning for Sheila filled with much joy and a sense of love and care. Sheila is an innocent, wild, and, violent little girl with soft features, and we get to know a lot about her character and how she interacts with her classmates and her teacher by the author¿s use of dialog and actions. Sheila comes from a poor family which explains her outfit choice of overalls and a white shirt, the only clothes she has and wears everyday. Sheila seems very innocent, but she is the quiet type that has been tortured through so much emotional pain that she seems to express it through her anger. Torey¿s character is a type that you can relate to because she is easily understood and expresses her true, honest feelings toward the reader. Overall, the characters are very well developed through the use of dialog and actions throughout the book. The author uses first person point of view and it is significant because you get to know exactly how the character feels after each situation and the reader gets a better understanding of the characters¿ actions. The point of view had a lot of importance throughout the entire book because it was based on a long flashback and the author uses this technique for re-telling the story exactly as it happened. I give this book a two thumbs up! I would recommend it to anybody who likes a good read. Page after page was filled with intense situations that kept me in suspense and kept me interested, wanting to read more and more. I liked how there was no wasted pages of useless information or stalling away from the conflict, it got right to the point. I found it really beautiful how a stranger, like Torey, could just take a little, violent child and tame her enough to form a special bond with her and come to realize how much she loved this child. She made a difference in her life. This book is something that touched my heart. I loved it!

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